Britain sending helicopters to Ukraine ‘for first time’ after PM announces £50m support package

Three Royal Navy Sea King helicopters. Credit: PA

Britain is sending helicopters to Ukraine for the first time in an escalation of support for Kyiv’s resistance against Vladimir Putin, the defence secretary has announced.

Three former British military Sea Kings will be provided, with the first already in Ukraine, PA reports. They are the first piloted aircraft to be sent by the UK since the Russian President’s invasion began in February. An extra 10,000 artillery rounds are being sent to help Ukraine secure the territory it has recaptured from the invading forces in recent weeks, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also said.

The move comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced £50 million more in defence aid as he visited Kyiv over the weekend.

PM Rishi Sunak and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace pictured arriving for a commemoration event to honour Nuclear test veterans on Monday. Credit: PA

During a visit to Norway, Mr Wallace said: “Our support for Ukraine is unwavering. These additional artillery rounds will help Ukraine to secure the land it has reclaimed from Russia in recent weeks.” The Royal Navy provided six weeks’ training on Sea Kings in the UK for Ukraine’s armed forces and engineers, the Ministry of Defence said. The fresh support follows a commitment to provide 1,000 surface-to-air missiles and 125 anti-aircraft guns. Mr Wallace is in Norway meeting allied defence ministers on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier.

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